Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ethiopia - a new Middle East

I must confess that I know little about Ethiopia except to say that the country has fairly recently emerged from a devastating famine (remember the drive of artists against famine in the 80s?) and a civil war (which saw the secession of Eritrea, formerly Italian Somaliland) to an economic renaissance of sorts. The reason I mentioned it is because two people my family know have received offers to work in the travel/hospitality industry in the country. One was for a catering company and the other as the country manager for a major airline. The former opted out, largely due to family pressure not to accept, while the latter will be flying out two weeks from now.

With many in the creative industries are looking to work in Indochina and those in telco in Latin America, is the Horn of Africa the IT destination for those in the hotel/resto and airline fields?

It makes me now think...?!

On maturing

I realized recently, and at a considerable shock, that I have emotionally matured - at least as far as the office is concerned. Suffice it to say that a recent blow-out which would have seen me at my raging best five (short) years ago has me more thoughtful, straining as it were to seek understanding. I have even, shudder, sought to see the situation from the other party's perspective.

The experience has been both exhilarating and disquieting: exhilarating given the novelty of the feeling but disquieting in it's newness. Or have I just reached a point of professional inertia?

A dry April

I knew that having a blog meant an obligation to write regularly. But I have written so many in my head these past months but hesitated to encode them in the hopes of coming up with THE post. I am finally drawn to write today just because I would hate to end the month on a dry note.

So here's my one of my thought threads: I watched a news segment last February on Chinese New Year where Manila's mayor staged a dragon dance and parade through Chinatown in the hopes of, as he said, firming up the alliance between Filipinos and Chinese. Made me think: since when have we been operating as a dual state? Isn't the mayor a prime example of a racial assimilation? Hasn't centuries of trade, communication and inter-marriage mixed the races enough to render distinctions moot? And should an elected official publicly support racial distinctions at all?

Of course, there are many among us sporting foreign passports - either because we have opted for foreign citizenship or because our grandparents or parents have settled among relations and given birth here - but fully identify as a Filipino. In this case, then yes I agree, they are foreigners and should be subject to the laws of the country as it applies to aliens. So was the good mayor referring to these visitors? Then, why should aliens enjoy special rights over and beyond what the law stipulates?

Just my ten renminbi